The Brilliant Writer Reading List for June 2019

Dear Brilliant Writers and Beloved Bookworms,

Need a quick break from writing? Looking for some inspiration or material for your next project? Craving a great read without having to sort through thousands of library listings?

I gotcha. Here are a few of the most interesting and influential books I’ve read recently that should do the trick!


Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller

Have you ever wondered why your blog/company/brand is struggling to reach its intended audience? Perhaps it’s because you haven’t yet learned the secret to drawing folks in: storytelling. Author, speaker, and business owner Donald Miller shares the secret to success in business through his 6-step StoryBrand formula in this handy book. Miller argues that people are wired to love stories, and if you learn how to tell the right story to your intended audience, you can also catch their ear in an increasingly noisy and chaotic world. StoryBrand teaches how to position yourself and your brand/company through the stories you tell, and is worth a read for everyone who has something to promote.


The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

Struggling to get out of debt? Don’t know how to manage your money? Not sure where your income goes after it comes in? Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover teaches the “Snowball Method” to getting your finances under control and staying in control. Ramsey has his own podcast/radio show, and his personality isn’t for everyone, but if you are interested in personal finances — namely, your own — it’s worth giving his advice a hear-over.


Boundaries by Henry Cloud

If you’ve ever felt taken advantage of, Boundaries will tell you why, and how to protect yourself…without OVER-protecting yourself. Written by two clinical psychologists with decades of experience counseling people who don’t understand how to set up and maintain healthy boundaries, Boundaries is a must-read if you want to learn the principles that make for a healthy, thriving relationship with your loved ones and yourself.


The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

I’ve always been a journal-writer, but this book semi-revolutionized the way that I journal. Ever since I adopted the BuJo method of journaling, (which is like a yearly calendar, monthly calendar, day planner, diary, and goals journal rolled into one), I’ve been able to keep far better track of my life and a multitude of projects I’ve been working on. The Bullet Journal Method is not difficult to learn, and the book includes several sections on goal setting, finding meaning, and time management that dive deeper than just teaching the journaling techniques. Highly recommended!


Bad Blood by John Carreyrou

Great journalism is not just about writing well, but about writing the truth…no matter what. In Bad Blood, John Carreyrou does just that. This Wall Street Journal writer was the first to reveal the Theranos scandal — the most infamous event in Silicon Valley history in the past decade…or maybe forever. He also broke the story despite great pressure not to. In Bad Blood, Carreyrou details the rise and fall of a massively ambitious young woman who modeled herself after the late Steve Jobs and aimed to become a billionaire…a goal she reached through lies, fabrications, and gross intimidation. Bad Blood is a fascinating read about the world of technology, law, and psychology, and Carreyrou is a skillful writer, bringing the sordid story to life within these pages.


On Writing Well by William Zinsser

There’s a reason why this book on nonfiction writing has lasted for more than four decades, and sold over a million copies. Zinsser is an experienced writer who reveals the key to writing quality, readable prose. There are many great nuggets of wisdom in On Writing Well, several quotable lines, and ideas that will transform your writing if you implement them. Each chapter addresses an important concept, briefly, and gives helpful examples that you can learn from and adopt yourself. After all, one of the most important lessons Zinsser teaches is this: “You learn to write by writing.”

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Want to Find More Incredible Books Like This?

I’ve created The Brilliant Writer Reading List to help you avoid wasting time on terrible books and only enjoy reading the good stuff.


6 thoughts on “The Brilliant Writer Reading List for June 2019”

  1. I read Bad Blood. It was one of the saddest and most intense real-life stories I have ever read in the business world.

    The conclusion of the book was kinda quick but a great read nevertheless.

    Thanks for sharing.


  2. Glad to hear it was so helpful to you, Nancy! One of my writing mentors recommended it to me, that’s how it first made it on my list 🙂

  3. Hi Jeremiah, you’re right. It is a terribly sad story, and a good warning for us all. Although there were several unfortunate characters in the book, there were also brave people willing to stand up to them, including the author himself. So that gives hope! 🙂

  4. Sarah, I just finished reading The Bullet Journal Method and On Writing Well. Both books are a must read for anyone desiring to write. I appreciated your recommendations on these two books. I’m also going through your lessons on Being A Brilliant Writer. Thank you for your contributions to my writing life. Richard

  5. Hi Richard! Glad you enjoyed both books. They are fantastic! And you’re very welcome, thank you for being part of the Brilliant Writer family 🙂

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